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FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF ST. LOUIS
MONTHLY REVIEW
OF BUSINESS CONDITIONS IN
EIGHTH DISTRICT
Released for Publication On and After the Afternoon of November 30, 1925
WILLIAM McC. MARTIN
Chairman of the Board and Federal Reserve Agent

H E steady expansion in business and indus­
trial activities in this district, noted in the
two preceding issues of this report, contin­
ued with virtually no interruption during the past
thirty days. Distribution of com m odities in a
m ajority of lines investigated is in very large v o l­
ume and running ahead of the corresponding period
in 1924, though the usual seasonal gain in sales of
certain classifications of merchandise is not as pro­
nounced as last year.
Reports of manufacturers and wholesalers are
featured by comment upon the development of a
more optimistic feeling, both in trade circles and
among ultimate consumers. Im proved sentiment is
particularly marked in the agricultural sections,
where crops are being moved to market and returns
realized are proving fully equal to expectations
based on conditions prevailing earlier in the year.
Farm supplies and goods generally for consumption
in the country are m oving in satisfactory volume,
though in certain localities the recent excessive
rains and heavy roads have had a tendency to slow
down retail trade. In the large cities O ctober retail
distribution was on a large scale, department store
sales for that month showing an increase of more
than 25 per cent over the corresponding period
in 1924.
Further progress in the stabilization of com m o­
dity prices was reflected in greater confidence on
the part of merchants, and while there is still a
disposition am ong retailers to buy conservatively,
the average size of orders being placed with the
wholesale trade is larger than during the preceding
tw o months. Stocks in retailers’ hands are light,
and the volume of early reordering of winter goods
is taken to indicate the turnover is more rapid than
heretofore and that dealers underestimated require­
ments in their original purchases. Interest in holi­
day goods of all descriptions was quite pronounced,
with sales in that category considerably larger than
during the same period last year or in 1923.

T




A ccording to the Employment Service of the
U. S. Department of Labor, employment conditions
remained highly satisfactory during the period
under review, with the outlook for the rest of the
year regarded as excellent. Skilled labor in the
building trades is fully occupied, and there were
substantial additions to working forces at plants in
the principal industrial centers. The strong demand
for help on farms, public improvements and other
outdoor operations has absorbed the bulk of idle
com m on labor. The number of idle miners in the
coal fields was materially reduced, and full em ploy­
ment was reported in the lead and zinc mining dis­
trict. Some improvement was noted in the demand
for clerical help, both male and female, in the large
cities. Save for a shortage of cotton pickers in
some counties, farm labor was adequate to the
demand.
Colder weather and prolonged suspension of
production in the anthracite fields have caused
further improvement in the demand for bituminous
coal. W orking time at mines in all the principal
fields of the district was increased, and operators
are finding little trouble in marketing their full out­
puts. In Illinois the shaft mines are active four
to five days per week, and full time operations are
the rule at all strip pits. In western Kentucky there
has been marked betterment in the outlet for all
varieties of coal, and prices have advanced to the
highest point of the year. The movement of dom es­
tic coal in both the large cities and the country has
been brisk, and the market for steam grades is
stronger. Due to the movement of coal in unac­
customed directions, some disarrangement of traffic
facilities has occurred, and increasing complaints of
car shortage are heard. Chiefly as a result of the
demand for anthracite substitutes, there has been an
unusually heavy movement of by-product coke from
this district to eastern points. Stocks of the by-pro­
duct manufacturers have been heavily reduced.

Total output of bituminous coal for the country as
a whole during the calendar year of 1925 to N ovem ­
ber 7 was 431,562,000 tons, against 401,889,000 tons
for the corresponding period last year and 487,664,000 tons in 1923.
Railroads operating in the district are maintain­
ing their recent high records in the matter of traf­
fic handled. In recent weeks the heavier movement
of coal and coke has been a feature in the gains but
good increases were also shown in other classifica­
tions, notably merchandise and miscellaneous
freight. For the entire country total loadings of
revenue freight during the first 44 weeks of the
year, or to O ctober 31, were 43,384,333 cars, com ­
pared with 41,057,374 cars for the same period in
1924 and 42,651,738 cars in 1923. The St. Louis
Terminal Railway Association, which handles inter­
changes for 28
connecting lines, interchanged
235,938 loads in October, against 217,465 loads in
September and 229,275 loads in October, 1924. Dur­
ing the first nine days of N ovem ber the interchange
amounted to 69,056 loads against 67,178 loads in
October and 62,868 loads in November, 1924. Pas­
senger traffic of the reporting roads gained 0.3 per
cent in October over the same month in 1924. Esti­
mated tonnage of the Federal Barge line between
St. Louis and New Orleans for O ctober was 67,000
tons, against 46,070 tons in September and 57,604
tons in October, 1924.
Generally throughout the district collections
during the past thirty days maintained the high
efficiency which has characterized them during
the past several months. T h e unusually early
movement of cotton is mentioned as a factor in
effecting prom pt settlements in the South. In the
grain areas there has been good liquidation, and
improvement is reported in collections in the coal
mining sections. Retailers in the large cities report
conditions mainly satisfactory. Answers to 462
questionnaires addressed to representative interests
in the various lines throughout the district showed
the follow ing results:
Excellent

October, 1925............... 4.4%
September, 1925........... 3.1
October, 1924............... 4.2

Good

49.6%
53.3
38.2

Fair

40.5%
41.5
51.6

Poor

5.5%
2.1
6.0

Commercial failures in the Eighth Federal
Reserve District during October, according to
D un’s, numbered 80, involving liabilities o f $1,756,347, against 54 defaults in September with liabili­
ties of $1,138,071 and 79 failures for $1,945,106 in
October, 1924.




The per capita circulation of the United States
on N ovember 1, 1925, was $42.77, against 42.17 on
O ctober 1, and $43.12 on Novem ber 1, 1924.
M A N U F A C T U R IN G A N D W H O L E S A L E
Autom obiles — A ll preceding monthly records
were passed by the October production of automo­
biles for the country as a whole, total output being
36.1 per cent greater than in September, and 54.1
per cent in excess of the October, 1924, total. Manu­
facturers reporting direct or through the National
Autom obile Chamber of Commerce built 406,509
passenger cars in October, against 272,360 in Sep­
tember and 260,703 in October, 1924. Trucks made
in October numbered 44,693, which compares with
59,236 in September and 31,485 in October, 1924.
In spite of the handicap of unfavorable weath­
er, sales of automobiles and accessories during the
period under review were above expectations. New
models put out by several leading producers and
the recent price cuts had a stimulating effect on
business. Factory shipments to dealers were larger
than during the preceding thirty days, with but
few exceptions, stocks of new cars on hand were of
moderate proportions, and universally smaller than
at the corresponding period last year. The used
car situation is reported less satisfactory than here­
tofore. The number of such cars held is not appre­
ciably larger, but the proportion of open models,
which are less saleable than closed cars, is unus­
ually heavy. The arrival of cold weather has quick­
ened sales of tire chains, radiator covers, anti-freeze
preparations and other winter goods. Sales of 320
dealers scattered through the district were 16.2 per
cent over those of the corresponding month in 1924
and 3.4 per cent larger than the September total
this year.
Boots and Shoes — October sales of the 11
reporting interests were 13.2 per cent below those
of the same month in 1924, and 8.8 per cent larger
than the September total this year. There was the
usual seasonal reduction in orders, but production
continues at the recent high levels, factories operat­
ing at 92 to 98 per cent of capacity. The demand
for men’s shoes is reported active, and as has been
the case for the past several months, particular
stress is being laid on novelties and styled goods.
Prices of finished goods showed no change during
the month, and the trend of raw materials was irreg­
ular. Marked improvement was reported in the
movement of rubber footwear. The total number
of pairs of shoes manufactured in the district dur­
ing O ctober was 13.7 per cent larger than that of
the preceding month, and for the country as a whole
October production exceeded that of September by
4.5 per cent.

Clothing — T he outstanding feature in this
classification was the sharp increase in sales of w in­
ter apparel, both w om en’s and men’s wear. Jobbers
of w om en’s cloaks and suits report a substantial
volum e of reordering, indicating that retailers had
underestimated their requirements in their earlier
ordering. M en’s furnishings of all descriptions are
m oving well, with the demand for holiday goods
particularly active. T he call for w ork clothes con­
tinues at the high levels of recent months, and the
unprecedented demand for oilskin slickers is taxing
the capacity of producers. The general average of
prices showed little change as compared with a year
ago, but partial reductions were reported by pro­
ducers in certain of their lines under levels of the
preceding month. Sales of the 10 reporting clothiers
during O ctober were 21.1 per cent larger than for
the same month in 1924, and 466.3 per cent greater
than the September total this year. The large
month to month gain is accounted for by seasonal
considerations and a particularly heavy increase by
one of the leading interests.
Drugs and Chemicals — A s compared with the
corresponding month in 1924, O ctober sales of the
11 reporting interests showed a loss of 3.6 per cent,
and the total was 2.3 per cent under that of Septem­
ber this year. The m ajor part of the decrease in
the month-to-m onth comparison was accounted for
by reduced sales in the country, where unfavorable
weather has had a tendency to retard business.
Ordering of holiday goods is reported in satisfactory
volume, and since Novem ber 1 there has been a
good pick up in the demand for seasonal merchan­
dise. The general manufacturing demand for heavy
chemicals continues active.
D ry Goods — O ctober sales of the 11 reporting
interests were 10.0 per cent larger than for the same
month in 1924, and 2.1 per cent under the Septem­
ber total this year. Stocks on hand on N ovem ber
1 were 0.1 per cent larger than a year earlier, but
10.2 per cent less than those on O ctober 1. A ctivity
extends generally through the entire line, but the
recent fluctuations in raw cotton have had a ten­
dency to hold down commitments on goods based
on that staple, particularly for advance delivery.
The demand for underwear, hosiery, sweaters and
knitted goods generally continued the improvement
noted during the preceding month.
Electrical Supplies — Increased sales of radio
goods, industrial lighting equipment, coal mine sup­
plies and household appliances were the feature in
business in this classification during the past thirty
days. Ordering o f holiday goods was in satisfactory
volum e, and generally advance orders are well in
excess of a year ago. Prices showed no appreciable
change as compared with the preceding month.




O ctober sales of the 12 reporting interests were
22.3 per cent larger than for the same month in
1924, and 15.0 per cent in excess of the September
total this year. Stocks on November 1 were 16.5
per cent smaller than a year earlier and 11.0 per
cent larger than on October 1 this year.
Flour — Production during October at the 11
leading mills of the district was 393,111 barrels, the
largest since November, 1923, compared with
354,457 barrels in September and 357,858 barrels
in October, 1924. During the final week of October
there was a fair buying movement, accompanied by
a firmer tone, due to the upturn in wheat. Since
the first of this month, however, new orders from
the domestic trade have been light, and export
business virtually nil. Shipping directions have con­
tinued fair on old contracts. Stocks on N ovem ber 1
were 19.7 per cent larger than a month earlier and
9.4 per cent in excess of the total on November 1,
1924.
Furniture — W ell defined improvement took
place in this line during the period under review,
O ctober sales of the 25 reporting interests showing
an increase of 19.2 per cent over the same month
last year and of 6.2 per cent over the September
total this year. Stocks in retailers’ hands are light,
and there is a general disposition to replenish, par­
ticularly in the case of seasonal and holiday goods.
Buying, however, still holds close to a necessity
basis, and there are complaints of extremely keen
competition in certain lines. Stocks on hand on
Novem ber 1 were smaller by 9.7 per cent than a
year earlier and 25.2 per cent under the October 1
total this year.
Groceries — A s compared with a year ago,
October sales of the 22 reporting interests showed
an increase of 1.6 per cent, but the total was 1.4
per cent under that of September this year. Stocks
on Novem ber 1 were 8.8 per cent larger than on
the same date in 1924, and 8.7 per cent greater than
on O ctober 1 this year. The small decline in sales
from September to October was attributed to heavy
rains, which prevented salesmen from com pleting
their full rounds. Ordering of holiday goods is in
satisfactory volume, and larger than at any similar
period in the past three years.
Hardware — Buying of both staple and special­
ty goods in this line was reported active during the
past thirty days. There has been a good gain in
advance orders, the volume on books of the report­
ing interests being the largest at this season in more
than three years. Seasonal and holiday merchan­
dise has been in particularly strong demand, with
the movement to the rural districts exceeding ex­
pectations. Hunters’ supplies and sporting goods
generally are active. Some slowing down is noted

in the call for builders’ hardware, though sales in
this category are running ahead of last year. O cto­
ber sales of the 12 reporting interests were 39.7 per
cent larger than for the same month in 1924 and
14.6 per cent in excess of the September total this
year.
Iron and Steel Products — Generally increased
demand, heavier production, and further strength­
ening in prices featured the iron and steel industry
during the period under review. A t the principal
mills, foundries and machine shops new orders
booked were in satisfactory volume, and shipments
in many instances were at the highest rate this
year. B uying was broad and diversified, virtually
all classes of consumers showing a disposition to fill
their requirements. Specifications on materials pre­
viously engaged were heavy, with numerous re­
quests for expedited delivery. The demand for
structurals has been unusually heavy for this season
and fabricating plants are for the most part well
supplied with business. Manufacturers of farm
implements, stoves and other goods consumed
largely in the country report a ready market for
their products, with some having disposed of their
outputs for the next three months.. Distributors of
iron and steel goods from stock report improvement
in their business, with the general manufacturing
trade, milling interests and the coal mining industry
figuring conspicuously in the buying movement.
The demand for bars, shapes, plates and wire pro­
ducts has developed decided betterment, with prices
tending upward. Buying by the railroads, which
had lagged during the preceding several months,
has picked up. Fair orders for equipment were
placed, and purchasing of rails and track materials
generally was on a larger scale. Foundries special­
izing in gray castings report substantial gains in
orders during the last tw o weeks of O ctober and
the opening weeks of November. Interest in first
quarter of 1926 requirements of pig iron has in ­
creased, inquiries and sales for that delivery being
well in excess of the corresponding period last year.
Producers and distributors are proceeding with
caution in the matter of distant commitments, h ow ­
ever, due to uncertainty relative to coke supplies.
Production of pig iron for the country as a whole
during O ctober recorded another sharp gain, the
increase over September in daily rate of output
being the largest in three years, or since October,
1922. The output of steel ingots during O ctober
also showed a substantial increase over the preced­
ing month. Prices of pig iron advanced 50c to $1
per ton, No. 2 southern (1.75 to 2.25 per cent sili­
con) selling at $21.50 to $22 and northern iron of
the same grade at $23, furnace. Scrap iron and steel




prices recovered part of their recent loss, with im ­
provement particularly notable in heavy melting
steel and steel specialties.
Lum ber — O w ing to a very short log supply
and unfavorable weather for w oods operations,
southern hardwood lumber production has been
heavily curtailed by the closing of many mills, with
the result that prices have advanced sharply. Stocks
at the larger mills are still fairly large, but these
are being held at a much higher level of prices than
obtained thirty days ago. W ithin that time the
average advance in the list has been approximately
$10 per thousand feet. First and second plain red
gum has sold here at $110, with as high as $120
asked. A ll classes of hardwood stock show varying
strong advances. Price of southern pine has also
increased, due to the heavy autumn rainfall with
enforced idleness at small mills. Y ellow cypress is
likewise gaining in price. Douglas fir, on the other
hand, is weak in consequence of production exceed­
ing demand by from 12 to 16 per cent. The buying
is fairly good, though, in this district.
R E T A IL T R A D E
The condition of retail trade is reflected in the
follow ing comparative statement showing the activ­
ity of department stores in leading cities of the
district:
Net sales comparisons
Stocks on hand
Oct. 1925 Ten months ending Oct. 31, 1925
comp, to
comp, to
Oct. 31, 1925, to
same period, 1924 Oct. 31, 1924
Oct. 1924
— 13.2%
— 2.2%
Evansville ....— 3.2%
— 5.8
+ 9.2
Little Rock..+22.8
+ 5.3
+ 2.3
Louisville ...,. + 15.7
+ 2.2
..+27.2
+ 9.0
— 5.8
Quincy ..... .. + 18.6
+ 1-4
+ 1.3
+ 7.0
..+28.8
Springfield ..+27.0
+ 0.7
— 17.7
+ 1.3
8th District..+25.8
+ 6.6

Stock turnover
January 1,
to Oct. 31,
1924
1925
165.9
15475
215.1
192.5
273.1
238.7
198.9
185.3
188.2
199.3
250.4
264.4
131.8
108.0
231.9
247.8

C O N S U M P T IO N O F E L E C T R IC IT Y
The gains of recent months noted in consum p­
tion of electric power by industrial customers of
the public utility companies in the five largest cities
of the district were continued during the period
under review. A s compared with a year ago, the
O ctober consumption increased 16.3 per cent and
was 1.0 per cent greater than in September this
year. The gains were general through all classes
of users, but particularly notable at coal mines, flour
mills and iron and steel plants.
Detailed figures follow :
No. of
Oct.
Sept.
Oct. 1925
Oct.
Oct. 1925
custom1925
1925
comp, to
1924
comp, to
ers
*K.W.H. *K.W.H. Sept. 1925 *K.W.H. Sept. 1924
Evansville .....40
' 1,088
1,246 ' — 12.7%
1,029
+ 5.7%
Little Rock....3 5
978
1,334
—26.7
1,095
— 10.7
5,346
5,064
+ 5.6
4,320
+23.8
Louisville .....67
Memphis .......31
1,554
975
+59.3
1,477
+ 5.2
St. Louis.......89
16,203
16,298
— 0.6 13,717
+18.1
Totals.....262
25,169
*In thousands (000 omitted).

24,917

+ 1.0

21,638

+16.3

The follow ing figures, compiled by the Depart­
ment of the Interior, show kilowatt production both

for lighting and industrial purposes for the country
as a w h o le :
By water power
September, 1925...............1,582,180,000
August 1925.................... 1,726,680,000
September, 1924.............. 1,496,127,000

By fuels_
3,803,574,000
3,648,849,000
3,309,732,000

Totals
5,385,754,000
5,375,529,000
4,805,859,000

A G R IC U LTU R E
W eather conditions during the period under
review were on the whole unfavorable for agricul­
ture. There were numerous complaints of too much
rain, which hampered seeding of wheat and husk­
ing and cribbing of corn. The excessive moisture
also caused considerable damage to crops still in
the field, particularly cotton, corn and white pota­
toes, besides interfering with the movement of all
farm products to market. Actual damage, however,
affected quality rather than quantity, total indicated
yields on Novem ber 1 being in several important
instances larger than a month earlier.
Taking into account the protracted drought and
abnormally high temperatures during the late sum­
mer and early fall, and other unfavorable conditions
existing during the early planting and grow ing
season, results generally have been above expecta­
tions. W ith the exception of corn, prices obtained
by farmers for their products have been in the main
satisfactory and sufficiently high to yield fair pro­
fits. Crops are being marketed in orderly fashion
and purchasing pow er of rural districts has been
enhanced. Generally sentiment in the country is
more optimistic than at any time during the past
several years.
Corn — Based on the Novem ber 1 condition
the yield of corn in this district is estimated at
419.434.000 bushels, com paring with an indicated
yield of 410,628,000 bushels on O ctober 1 and
346.256.000 bushels harvested in 1924. Gathering
and housing of the crop is backward, due to heavy
rains. Husking returns are disclosing rather mixed
results. Some extraordinary yields are shown by
certain Indiana counties, while in Illinois and M is­
souri considerable poor quality corn is reported.
Bulk of the crop throughout the district matured
without frost damage. Stocks of corn carried over
from the 1924 crop are universally light.
Wheat — Seeding of winter wheat has dragged
along over an unusually long period, due to unfavor­
able weather conditions. W hile the indications are
for a slight gain in acreage over last fall, farmers
have been prevented from planting up to their origi­
nal intentions by excessive rains. There are some
scattered complaints of fly damage, most pro­
nounced in southern Illinois, but generally wheat
planted is up to a good stand and is in good condi­
tion to enter the cold weather.




Fruits and Vegetables — There was no marked
change in prospects for late fruits and vegetables
during the period under review. The apple harvest,
particularly in the southwest, disclosed considerable
damage from the excessive heat in early September,
manifested in the form of heavy drop and lowered
quality. The commercial crop of states w holly or
partly within the district totaled 2,529,000 barrels,
against 2,568,000 barrels in 1924. Production of
white potatoes is still somewhat uncertain, because
part of the crop was in the ground on N ovm eber 1,
and losses from freezing could not be accurately
estimated. On the N ovem ber 1 condition the out­
turn for the district was estimated at 13,672,000
bushels, a loss of 122,000 bushels as compared with
the indicated yield on O ctober 1, and comparing
with 20,930,000 bushels harvested in 1924. In the
chief producing states, sweet potatoes are a large
crop, the yield in Mississippi being estimated at
9.312.000 bushels, against 4,400,000 bushels in 1924.
Live Stock — The condition of live stock gener­
ally through the district was approximately the
same as thirty days earlier. Pastures in the South
were materially assisted by the abundant precipita­
tion, but in the North the extremely cold weather
in October necessitated unusually early feeding of
prepared feeds. The number of cattle and hogs fin­
ished for market is slightly larger than at the cor­
responding time last year.
Receipts and shipments at St. Louis, reported
by the National Stock Yards, were as follow s:
______ Receipts________
Oct.
Sept.
Oct.
1925
1925
1924
Cattle and Calves.....159,429 151,670 171,239
Hogs ........................307,365 300,110 379,018
7,329
5,532
Horses and Mules..... 8,923
Sheep ........................ 59,825 54,226 45,955

_____ Shipments
Oct.
Sept.
Oct.
1925
1925
1924
102,490 100,063 106,605
217,917 208,771 266,555
8,064
7,408
5,511
34,359 28,468 20,644

Tobacco — Based on the November 1 condi­
tion, total production of tobacco in the district is
estimated at 298,024,000 pounds, against an indi­
cated yield of 298,989,000 ponds on October 1, and
338.335.000 pounds harvested in 1924. W et weather
has resulted in some moulding in the barns, and
from all districts there are complaints of damage
from freezing during the cold weather in October.
Except in the dark fired district, where buying far­
mers at the barns has been active, there was little
of the new crop sold. In both the burley and dark
fired districts the opening of receiving and market­
ing houses has been set for December 1. T h e Dark
Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association has re­
leased its members from their obligations to deliver
the 1925 crop to its own houses. This Association
is reported to have sold recently 25,000,000 pounds
of old stored tobacco, while the Burley Association
disposed of 11,000,000 pounds. The demand for all

good grades is active, with buyers paying high
prices.
Rice — Due to continued heavy rains the
amount of rice threshed is relatively small. A p ­
proxim ately 90 per cent of the crop has been cut
and is in the shock. Generally the harvest is from
tw o to three weeks late, and considerable damage
to rice in the shock has been occasioned by the
rains. The demand for clean rice is reported active.
Cotton — W hile the indicated yield of cotton
in this district increased 201,000 bales between
O ctober 1 and Novem ber 1, the almost continuous
rains and low temperatures of the past few weeks
have hampered picking and caused sharp deteriora­
tion in the grade and staple of that portion of the
crop remaining in the field. The remarkable vitality
of the plant enabled it to withstand the heat and
drought of A ugust and September and respond to
the rains that follow ed. The estimated yield for the
district as of N ovem ber 1 was 3, 313,000 bales, which
compares with 2,231,000 bales, the final estimate for
1924. The m ovement to market has slowed down
somewhat, but is still well over the same time last
year.
Receipts at Arkansas compresses from
August 1 to N ovem ber 13 totaled 903,387 bales
against 775,203 bales for the corresponding period
in 1924.
Com m odity Prices — Range of prices in the St.
Louis market between October 15, 1925, and
N ovem ber 14, 1925, with closing quotations on the
latter date and on Novem ber 15, 1924:
Close
Low Nov. 14, 1925 Nov. 15, 1924
December .... ...per bu.$1.61*6 $1.46*6
$1.53
$1,603/6
May ..............
1.5356 1.42*4
1.60
1.53*4
1.30& 1.30*6
July ...........
1.3054
1.38*4
J T. 2 red winter “
No
1.75
1.70 $1.74 @ 1.75 $1.65 @ 1.66
No. 2 hard.....
1.69
1.59
1.68 @ 1.69
1.51*4 @ 1.53
Corn
“
December ......
.77^
.778
6/
.71*4
1.11*4
May ..............
.80
.80*6 .76*4
1.17*4
No. 2..............
.87
.85 @
.87
.78*4
1.12
No. 2 white....,
.87 @
.87*4 .81
@ 1.12
.87*4 1.11
O cits
tt
No. 2 white....
•41H .39*4
.41*4
.ssy2
Flour
Soft patent....
9.25
8.40
8.50 @ 8.75 8.00 @ 8.75
“
8.40
Spring patent..
7.85
8.25 @ 8.35 7.85 @ 8.20
Middling cotton....per lb.
.22*4 •19*4
.24
.20*4
Hogs on hoof..... ..per cwt.12.50
9.75
10.35 @ 12.00 9.25 @ 9.50
Wheat

High

B U IL D IN G
The dollar value of permits issued for new con­
struction in the five largest cities of the district
during O ctober was 43.7 per cent less than for the
corresponding month in 1924, and 15.6 per cent
below the September total this year. In the yearto-year comparison the heavy decrease is due to the
fact that permits issued in October, 1924, covered
several especially large buildings in St. Louis and
Louisville. W ork on buildings in course of erection
was pushed forward rapidly during the past thirty
days, contractors being anxious to advance as far




as possible before cold weather. H ighw ay construc­
tion operations were interfered with by the heavy
rains. The trend of building material prices was
upward, with specific advances recorded on certain
items in lumber and iron and steel. Production of
Portland cement for the country as a w hole during
October totaled 15,992,000 barrels, against 15,939,000 barrels in September and 14,820,000 barrels in
October, 1924.
Building figures for O ctober follow :
New Construction
*Cost
Permits
1925 1924
1925
1924
Evansville .. 173
216
$ 193 $ 391
Little Rock 76
126
191
437
Louisville .. 339
403
2,205
2,036
380
Memphis .... 553
1,686
1,638
St. Louis.... 962 1,000
3,052
8,530

Repairs, etc.
Permits
*Cost
1925 1924
1925 1924
82
113
$ 31 $ 37
114
125
39
46
91
121
143
109
61
161
178
47
506
502
626
356

Oct. totals..2,103 2,125
$7,327 $13,032
Sept. totals..1,901 2,243
8,555
7,073
Aug. totals..2,188 1,922
8,659
5,506
*In thousands of dollars (000 omitted).

954
894
979

1,163
1,067
946

$ 616
646
827

$755
881
602

F IN A N C IA L
The increased volume of mercantile transac­
tions, coupled with seasonal demand from the coun­
try for financing the crop movement, resulted in a
somewhat heavier demand for funds during the
past thirty days. Loans of the commercial banks
rose steadily from the level of the middle of O cto­
ber, and reached the highest point since early in
April. Considering the marked expansion in busi­
ness volume, however, the amount of borrow ing by
mercantile and manufacturing interests is relatively
small. The explanation of this is found in excep­
tionally efficient collections, actual requirement
purchasing, efficient transportation service, rapid
turnover and moderate inventories, which factors
enable business concerns to carry on with their own
resources to a much greater extent than during
past years. The heavy marketing of agricultural
products has been accompained by good liquida­
tion, particularly in the South where many obliga­
tions of long standing have been paid. N o change
worthy of note has taken place am ong the grain
and milling interests, their commitments being
about the same as thirty days earlier. Liberal set­
tlements have been made by the canning and pack­
ing industries. The early movement of the cotton
crop has resulted in smaller requirements in the
South at this particular time than for a number of
years. Some increase in loans based on tobacco
and rice were reported. T he unprecedented ac­
tivity in the security market was reflected in a sharp
increase in loans on stock exchange collateral, the
total reaching the highest point of the year. A lter
declining toward the end of October, deposits ad­
vanced during the early part of this month to about

the level obtaining in April. W hile interest rates
were quotably steady, the trend was slightly
upward.
Commercial Paper -— Conditions in the com ­
mercial paper market were in m ost respects identi­
cal with those obtaining during the preceding
thirty days. Both city and country banks were in
the market for good amounts, but supplies were
inadequate to meet the demand, relatively little
paper was being put out, and prime names were
especially scarce. Rates were unchanged at 4*4
and 4 y2 per cent. Brokerage interests continue to
complain of strong com petition of the eastern call
money market and local commercial banks. O cto­
ber sales of reporting brokers were 4.3 per cent
smaller than for the same month in 1924, but 16.8
per cent larger than the September total this year.
Condition of Banks — W h ile continuing to run
ahead o f a year ago, loans and discounts of member
banks dropped slightly below the preceding month,
total on Novem ber 18 being $508,475,000 against
$511,979,000 on O ctober 14 and $493,325,000 on
Novem ber 19, 1924. Total investments gained
slightly, standing at $167,827,000 on November 18,
$165,129,000 on O ctober 14 and $151,027,000 on
Novem ber 19, 1924. Deposits fluctuated in a rela­
tively narrow range, the total of $614,617,000 on
Novem ber 18 comparing with $617,041,000 on
O ctober 14 and $602,875,000 on N ovem ber 19, 1924.
T h e follow ing statement shows principal re­
sources and liabilities of reporting member banks
in Evansville, Little Rock, Louisville, Memphis,
and St. L ou is:
Number of banks reporting.....................
Loans and discounts (incl. rediscounts)..
Secured by U. S. Gov’ t, obligations.
Secured by other stocks and bonds...
Total loans and discounts.........
Investments
U. S. Pre-war bonds..............
Liberty bonds..........................
Treasury bonds........................
Victory and Treasury notes..
Certificates of Indebtedness..
Other securities......................
Total investments...........
Reserve balance with F.
Cash in vault...................
Deposits
Net demand deposits....,
Time deposits...............
Government deposits....

♦Nov. 18, *Oct. 14, *Nov. 19,
1925
1925
1924
...
33
33
33
...$ 7,039
... 192,838
... 308,598

$ 6,654
180,945
324,380

$

$511,979

$493,325
14,356
25,000
2,257
10,160
2,708
96,546

9,708
164,116
319,501

...

12,707

...

6,584

12,707
22,812
10,638
6,582
2,440
109,950

...
...

51,107
8,254

$165,129
48,873
8,799

$151,027
57,266
7,895

399,404
213,167
4,470

27 3
1 ,1 6

... 399,465

383,361

2,378

Total deposits.......................................
., $614,617 $617,041 $602,875
Bills payable and rediscounts with
Federal reserve bank
Secured by U. S. Gov’ t, obligai
...
3,720
2,471
557
All other.......................................
12,011
3,728
*In thousands (000 omitted).
Total resources of these 33 banks comprise approximately 54 per cent
of the resources of all member banks in the district.

Federal Reserve Operations — During October
the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis discounted




for 219 of its member banks, against 226 accom m o­
dated in September, and 236 in October, 1924. The
discount rate remained tin changed at 4 per rent.
Changes in the principal assets and liabilities of tlrs
institution as compared with the preceding month
and a year ago are shown in the follow ing table:
*Nov. 18,
1925
.$30,626
, 23,945
. 20,488
262

Bills discounted...........
Bills bought................
U. S. Securities...........
Foreign loans on gold..

*Oct. 18, *Nov. 18,
1924
1925
$15,480
$33,038
12,667
17,809
20,288
16,769
294

.$75,321
. 39,586
. 86,925

$71,429
41,495
85,128

$44,916
57,239
82,196

. 45.8%

F. R. Notes in circulation.....
Total deposits............................
Ratio of reserves to deposit
and F. R. Note liabilities.....
*In thousands (000 omitted).

46.8%

75.1%

Debits to Individual Accounts — The follow ing
comparative table gives the total debits charged by
banks to checking accounts, savings accounts, cer­
tificates of deposit accounts and trust accounts of
individuals, firms, corporations and U. S. Govern­
ment in the leading cities of this district. Charges
to accounts of banks are not included:
*For four weeks ending
Nov. 1925 Nov. 1925
Nov. 18, Oct. 21, Nov. 19, comp, to comp, to
1925
1924 Oct. 1925 Nov. 1924
1925
E. St. Louis and
Nat. Stock Yards, 111..$ 42,495
El Dorado, Ark..... .... 10,320
Evansville, Ind........... 36,189
Fort Smith, Ark.....
18,206
Greenville, Miss.......
5,572
7,030
Helena, Ark............ ....
Little Rock, Ark........ 86,917
Louisville, Ky......... .... 166,615
Memphis, Tenn.......... 176,415
Owensboro, Ky.......
4,312
Quincy, 111..............
St. Louis, Mo......... .... 719,300
Sedalia, Mo.............
Springfield, Mo.......... 13,575

$ 46,526
10,722
38,073
17,387
5,931
8,176
88,972
171,479
192,637
4,406
11,783
730,000
3,988
14,212

$ 40,133 — 8.7%
5,871 — 3.7
25,239 — 4.9
18,139 + 4.7
6.1
5,768
8,923
14.0
87,039 — 4.6
156,747 — 2.8
163,714 — 8.4
4,909 — 2.1
10,215 — 5.2
671,723 — 1.5
3,992 — 6.2
12,257 — 4.5

Totals................. .$1,301,861 $1,344,292 $1,214,669
*In thousands (000 omitted).

— 3.2

+ 5.9%
+ 75.8
+43.4
+ 0.4
— 3.4
— 21.2
— 0.1
+ 6.3
+ 7.8
— 12.2
+ 9.4
+ 7.1
— 6.3
+ 10.8
+ 7.2

COST OF L IV IN G
The follow ing
of the cost of living
in July, 1914, and
October 15, 1925
m onths:

table shows the index numbers
as compared with average prices
also the percentage changes on
as compared with previous

Rela­
tive
Percentage of increase
Index numbers of the
impor­
in the cost of living,
cost of living
on October 15, 1925
Item
tance
(Average prices July,
from average prices in
in
1914=100)
Sept.,
Oct.,
Sept.,
family
July,
July,
1920
1925
1925
budget
1920
1925
26.0**
1.9
162
Food* ............ 43.1
159
219
0.0
12.7
Shelter ............17.7
158
178
178
0.0
33.8**
Clothing ........ 13.2
176
176
266
2.4
1.2
170
Fuel and light.. 5.6
166
168
(4.7**) (1.1)
(192)
(183)
(Fuel) .......(3.7)
(181)
(25.2)
(0.0)
(144)
(144)
(115)
(Light) .......(1.9)
6.0**
0.0
185
174
174
Sundries .........20.4
Weighted average
17.0**
0.9
204.5
168.2
169.7
of all items.... 100.0
*Food price changes are obtained from the United States Bureau of
Labor Statistics.
**Decrease.

The purchasing value of the dollar, based on
the cost of living in October, 1925, was 58.9 cents
as contrasted with one dollar in July, 1914.

(Compiled November 21, 1925.)

B U SIN E SS C O N D IT IO N S IN T H E U N IT E D S T A T E S
Production — The Federal Reserve Board’s index of
production in basic industries, which makes allowance for
seasonal changes, rose by about 4 per cent, in October,
reflecting increases in the output of most of the 22 commo­
dities included in the index. Particularly large increases in
activity wcie shown for the iron and steel and textile
industries, and the output of bituminous coal and of lumber

variation. Latest figure, October=116.
was in large volume. Production of automobiles in October
was the largest on record. Payrolls at factories, including
industries not covered by the production index, increased
in October to the highest level since early 1924. The value
of building contracts awarded declined further in October,
contrary to the usual seasonal tendency in building activity
between September and October, but the total was con­
siderably larger than in the corresponding month of any
other year.
Estimates by the Department of Agriculture in Novem­
ber indicate a corn crop of 3,013,000,000 bushels and a cotton
PER CENT

Freight car loadings reached a seasonal peak in October
and totaled more than in any previous month, n otw ith ­
standing reduced shipments of anthracite and of grains and
grain products.
Prices — The Bureau of Labor Statistic’s index of
wholesale prices, after remaining relatively constant for
three months, declined from 160 in September to 158 in

Latest figure, October=158.
October, reflecting declines in the prices of agricultural
products, particularly grains, livestock, meats, cotton and
sugar. Since November 1 prices of grains, wool, sugar, pig
iron, and rubber have increased.
Bank Credit — Between the middle of October and the
middle of November, loans for commercial and industrial
purposes at member banks in leading cities continued in a
volume about $450,000,000 larger than at mid-summer.
Loans on securities increased further, and total loans on
November 11 were about $1,000,000,000 larger than at the
opening of the year. Demand deposits increased further
during October and early November to a level near the

PER CENT

1

Payroll

_

/

/

\

Employment

FACTORY E MPLOYMENT
AND P>\YROLL

1
1922

1923

192^

1925

Indices for employment and pay-rolls in manufacturing
industries. Latest figures, October.
crop of 15,298,000 bales compared with 2,437,000,000 bushels
and 13,628,000 bales in 1924. Marketing of crops was sea­
sonably larger in October than in September but averaged
nearly 10 per cent less than a year ago.
Trade — Wholesale trade, according to the Federal
Reserve Board’s combined index of sales in six leading
lines, reached a seasonal peak in October and was in larger
volume than for any month of the past five years. Sales
at department stores and mail order houses, owing partly
to favorable weather conditions, showed considerably more
than the usual increase in October and were the largest
on record for that month. Stocks of dry goods, shoes, and
hardware at wholesale firms were smaller at the end of
October than on September 30, but stocks of groceries were
larger. Merchandise stocks at department stores showed
slightly more than the usual increase in October and were
somewhat larger than at the end of October a year ago.




Weekly figures for member banks in 101 leading cities
Latest figure, November 11.
high point of last January.
At the reserve banks total bills and securities in Novem­
ber were in the largest volume for the year, and about
$200,000,000 larger than a year ago. Member bank borrow­
ings declined somewhat from the high point reached early
in October, while acceptance holdings continued to increase
and on November 18 were larger than at any previous time
for the year. The growth in reserve bank credit since mid­
summer w as chiefly in response to the seasonal increase of
r
money in circulation, which on November 1, was about
$180,000,000 larger than on August 1. During the latter
part of October and early part of November open market
rates for commercial paper and bankers acceptances re­
mained substantially unchanged at the levels reached during
the early autumn. Discount rates at the Federal Reserve
Banks of Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and San Fran­
cisco were advanced from 3 / 2 to 4 per cent during
1
November.